Review of Apple TV 4K – updated market leader
It’s been two years since the Apple TV 4th generation console has been released, and now engineers and managers of this legendary company have decided to launch an updated version of the device on the market.
The main difference between the new Apple TV and the previous gadget is the ability to play video as a 4K HDR. But as we can ponder, the novelty’s feature isn’t limited to this point. To find out what more the device brings with it, we took a closer look at it and tried to note all the new chips. As expected, it came with bunches of traits. Finally, we tried to understand whether all these things worth the budget.
Package Contents and Appearance
The small box accommodated the console itself, the control panel, the power cable and the Lighting / USB cable. Notmuch, but everything you need on the spot.
The design of the prefix hasn’t undone any significant changes at all. The same square, with rounded corners, a minimalistic box of black color, the dimensions of which are 98x98x35 mm, and the weight is 425 grams.
A small change has been made in the ergonomics of the Siri Remote control panel. Apple has replaced the physical Menu button with a virtual one, which is now aligned with the touch panel. It is framed by a light circle that will help to detect the device in the dark – quite appreciable feature, indeed. The recycled triaxial gyroscope more accurately monitors the position of the gadget in space and also makes it easier to operate.
The unchanged touch panel of the console keeps the debate still on fire about whether it is an ideal piece of art, or small and uncomfortable against the background of analogs. For controlling from a remote place, you can connect a wireless keyboard to the console, which will facilitate your typing. In our opinion, according to the degree of convenience of remote control, the prefix outshines others competitors. And those, who are producing exclamations of discontent sound, may belong to the so-called perfectionists.
The lucky owner of the device can watch movies, transmissions and other videos as 2160p. The 4K TV support not only makes a list of features available, but uplifts the quality of the image that the users expected long ago.
Support for the standards of Dolby Vision and HDR10 ensures the saturation of the picture – black color has never been so black, the same applies to bright colors. If you open your photos on the screen, you will also notice a huge difference in color reproduction and overall image quality.
Here are all the formats supported by the new prefix:
• HD – 720 or 1080p resolution
• 4K – in this case there are four times as many pixels on the screen as in HD. The resolution here reaches 2160p.
• SDR – the traditional dynamic range, which is familiar to most of us by the most ordinary hardware and all the usual content.
• HDR – the expanded dynamic range, that makes the dark places visible with every detail on the video that previously hid black color. The same story continues with the bright ones.
• HDR10 – almost every HDR-enabled TV works with HDR10. This is a free technology that makes it possible to work with a wide dynamic range in an average quality. Samsung only works with this technology.
• Dolby Vision is a proprietary HDR system from Dolby, with which only top manufacturers work. The technology guarantees a better image with a wide dynamic range. But its friends work with only in LG, Vizio, TCL and partly in Sony.
• Dolby Atmos – the next generation of surround sound, which focuses on the location of people and things in space.
The price of the console is 13.5 thousand rubles, but you need to understand the quality of the software and the fact that no other device will give you so a close level of working with content. While the market does not have a device that can provide support for all of the above formats, to call any amount requested by Apple overstated would be difficult. Because no competitor is born yet.
Many people sensed that all these breakthrough technologies would go into the pipe, because it looked trivial to look and no high-resolution content is seen anywhere. Apple solved the issue without any difficulties and forcibly turned all the movies in iTunes from HD to 4K, including the content that was purchased earlier. Besides the company has finally brought the sports section to its senses, and fans of sports battles will be particularly satisfied. Watching any events in the highest quality is a real pleasure.
An interesting fact is that the set-top box does not allow changing the refresh rate from 60 Hz to 24 Hz. At first glance, it looks purely positive. But divided opinions exist. Some believe that this deprives the TV itself of the ability to use its intellectual resources, because the picture is already in the highest possible quality. But for the other user say it’s still a plus anyway.
Apple continues to work on the algorithms necessary for the most efficient and high-quality display of 4K HDR, and therefore we are waiting for software updates for the console and are looking forward to even more productive work.
The old Apple A8 would hardly have pulled the video back to 4K HDR, and so it was replaced by a brand new A10X Fusion and a twice more productive graphics chip.
Since the device can also run resource-intensive applications, and it is impossible to watch your favorite shows and movies, while the owner of the console can pass the time for the console-level games with chic graphics.
Following the previous model, Apple TV 4K is offered in two versions – with 32 and 64 gigabytes of memory on board. But the USB port, which the craftsmen used to connect the console to the computer and digging in the brains of the device, were eradicated. Not to mention, many users disliked the idea.
But it emerged to be more progressive than the old analog Gigabit Ethernet and very soon it saw the light of Bluetooth 5.0. In other words, in terms of interfaces, Apple again did not offend the buyer, providing everything that is needed in the latest versions.
Compatibility with third-party content stores
Without any doubt, it is the main disadvantage of the console. As you know, for 4K video, YouTube has moved to the new standard VP9. Apple is still going on without taking it into account, and therefore the largest storage of content in 4K resolution is not available for the new Apple console.
The company is confident of its potential to surpass YouTube. They hope to become the largest player in the 4K content market. But at the moment the company has not yet entered into an agreement with such giants of the film industry as Disney or Marvel, and therefore a number of anticipated blockbuster owners of the device are yet to see the maximum quality, it can provide.
There is no doubt that in the market of modern consumer electronics, specifically television set-top boxes, Apple TV 4K has no competitor. Its certain advantages include:
• the most convenient interface for managing content and software;
• support for Dolby Vision, which so far no other set-top box can offer;
• great remote control;
• and finally, huge prospects of development and potential iTunes to become the largest storage of content in 4K HDR.
We cannot ignore the shortcomings – lack of support for 4K on YouTube, under processed and not finalized sound of Dolby Atmos, problems with making contracts with the largest companies in the film industry, as well as a considerable price.
Overall, there is no shortcoming that Apple needs to cope with in the near future. But the position on the content from YouTube is not yet clear, perhaps the company does not plan to support a new standard and is focused on building up the power of its service. If all these aren’t that much critical for you, and the price they asked doesn’t seem overpriced, then boldly buy a device. It simply does not have any competitive equivalent and none of the devices on the market can take better picture than this one.